Mumbles Train Rutland Street 1878

Mumbles Railway 1804 to 1960 – Electric

Mumbles Railway 1804 to 1960

Swansea in 1807 – The first fare-paying passenger railway service in the world was established with the Oystermouth Railway to Mumbles Head. Affectionately known as “The Mumbles Train” (Welsh: Tren Bach I’r Mwmbwls) it later beame known as the Swansea and Mumbles Railway and operating from a terminus alongside Victoria Station in Rutland Street to Mumbles Head.

Tracks were laid down in the form of a plateway, with the rails being approximately 4 ft (1,219 mm) and horse-drawn vehicles were initially employed. Various forms of traction were subsequently used cumulating in electric power delivered via overhead power lines, this allowed the use of the famous double-decked coaches.

The last train ran on the closure of the line in 1960 and only elements of some coaches survive in the Waterside Museum exhibit at Swansea.

6 comments on “Mumbles Railway 1804 to 1960 – Electric

  1. This fact is wrong. The 1st paying passenger carrying railway was approx 1 year before this in a village in the valleys outside Swansea.

    I did a paper on the history and found ref to this in a book in Swansea library. found this over 20 years ago and no longer have the details, so it would be great to find the facts again. I’m sure the village started with a P.

    • Thank you for your comment, but I believe you are referring to the method of propulsion here.

      1804 – First steam locomotive railway known as Penydarren or “Pen-y-Darren” locomotive was built by Richard Trevithick, used to haul iron from Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon, Wales. The first train carry a load of 10 tons of iron. In one occasion it was successfully tried hauling 25 tons. But the weight of the locomotive was about 5 tons and broke many of the cast iron plate rails.
      1807 – First fare-paying, passenger railway service in the world was established on the Oystermouth Railway in Swansea, Wales. Later this became known as the Swansea and Mumbles Railway although the railway was more affectionately known as “The Mumbles Train” (Welsh: Tren Bach I’r Mwmbwls). The railway was laid in the form of a plateway, with the rails being approximately 4 ft (1,219 mm) and used a horse-drawn vehicles. At the beginning the railway survived using various forms of traction until 1960.

      • Thanks for your reply. I was not referring to the method of propulsion, I was referring to the service provided. The details I found referred to paying passengers using the coal carts to travel from one village to another.

  2. Two photographs are captioned wrongly.
    A pic, of an open double deck vehicle, with,’ Mumbles Railway Car.
    The other, a single deck vehicle, with, ‘On route to Docks’.
    The electric Mumbles train vehicles were never either open-top, or single deck.
    Both the mentioned vehicles are Swansea street trams.

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